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Do ultraviolet bug zapper work on pantry moths?

The moths are fond of light, and any glimpse of high-intensity light will attract them.

March 1, 2022

3 min read time

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Pantry moths can be a nuisance in our homes, particularly in areas where food is stored.

In the quest to control these pesky insects, ultraviolet bug zappers may come to mind as a potential solution.

In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of ultraviolet bug zappers in combating pantry moths.

Let’s uncover the truth and provide expert insights on this topic.

Ultraviolet bug zappers attract insects by emitting UV light, which is intended to lure them towards the device.

Once in proximity, the insects come into contact with an electric grid and are electrocuted.

While bug zappers can effectively eliminate certain flying insects, their efficacy in dealing with pantry moths is a subject that warrants careful consideration.

The Limitations for Pantry Moth Control:

When it comes to eradicating pantry moths, ultraviolet bug zappers have limitations. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Attraction:

    Pantry moths, also known as Indian meal moths, are primarily attracted to food sources, especially grains, flours, and dried fruits.

    The UV light emitted by bug zappers may not be a strong enough attractant to effectively lure pantry moths away from their preferred food sources.
  • Flying Patterns:

    Pantry moths tend to fly in a distinctive zigzag pattern rather than straight into the light source.

    This flying behavior may reduce the chances of them coming into contact with the bug zapper’s electric grid.

Effective Pantry Moth Control Strategies:

To effectively control pantry moth infestations, a comprehensive approach is necessary. Here are some recommended strategies:

  • Proper Storage:

    Store food items susceptible to pantry moth infestations in airtight containers made of glass, metal, or sturdy plastic. This prevents moths from accessing and laying eggs on the food.
  • Sanitation:

    Regularly clean pantry shelves, cabinets, and other storage areas to remove any potential food debris or moth larvae.

    Vacuuming and wiping down surfaces can help eliminate hidden eggs or larvae.
  • Traps and Pheromone Lures:

    Utilize pantry moth traps that are specifically designed to attract and capture adult moths.

    These traps use pheromone lures to mimic the scent of female moths and help disrupt the mating cycle.
  • Inspection and Discard:

    Regularly inspect stored food items for signs of infestation, such as webbing or larvae.

    Promptly discard any contaminated items to prevent further spread.

Consulting Pest Control Experts:

If pantry moth infestations persist or escalate, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from pest control experts.

They have the knowledge and experience to assess the situation, identify the source of infestation, and provide effective control measures tailored to your specific needs.


While ultraviolet bug zappers can be effective in eliminating certain flying insects, their effectiveness in controlling pantry moths may be limited.

Understanding the specific behavior and preferences of pantry moths and implementing a combination of strategies such as proper storage, sanitation, traps, and expert guidance will yield better results in eradicating these pests from your pantry.

Remember, maintaining a clean and organized pantry, along with proactive prevention measures, is key to minimizing the risk of pantry moth infestations.